By John Ighodaro
CALABAR â€” The Cross River State Government has called on the Federal Government to provide the sum of N23 billion for the state to tackle over 450 erosion and 250 critical flood sites across the state.
Mr. Julius Okputu, Commissioner for Environment, made the call in Calabar, said the state had already forwarded a memo to the Presidency to that effect.
He also said that it had begun negotiation process with the relevant authorities, especially the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, which had indicated its willingness to support the cause.
Okputu maintained that the state, which is also faced with desertification and deforestation, would adopt globally accepted best practices in utilising the fund when released.
Tax holiday incentives
The CommissionerÂ added that the state would give tax holiday to any organisation that will key into its environmental protection and conservation effort, as enshrined in the stateâ€™s economic blue print.
Okputu pointed out that because of the environmental best practice programmes initiated by the state, it expected adequate compensation to the tune of N30 billion as Carbon Credit from the global fund.
He also added that the money, which is to be released between 2010 -2012, would be pursued vigorously, while the state will ensure that it sustained all environmental programmes, especially the reduction of green house emission to theÂ rate of 2%, the worldâ€™s bench mark.
In order to meet this goal, the commissioner announced that the state was targeting five million trees to be planted annually.
He said the exercise had begun with the raising of a tree nursery, adding that government had also directed that all departments in the state must set aside 30 per cent of their landÂ area for landscaping and green areas.